Follow the Signs!

I am sure that I’m not alone in being one of those people who have passed by a sign for a place that looks and sounds interesting. I have driven past the turning to the village of Villebois-Lavalette so many times, that I have lost count. Well, I had absolutely no excuse this time because I was so close. It was a good choice, and I had to ask myself why I had taken this long to take that right turn along the small country road.

The first sight is of the fortified village…really impressive I’m sure that you’ll agree.


DSCN7324For a 1000 yrs there have been four castles on this site, with the walls and towers dating from the 12th century. Sitting on a 200m hill, it commands a perfect viewpoint over the rolling Charentaise countryside. As usual, I was unable to visit with Maggie, but I did steal a glimpse of the Romanesque chapel.


DSCN7313Strolling down in to village from the castle, there was a real feel of history as we meandered along narrow streets and alleys, and every now and again, a sneak peek of the lovely views of the countryside. Also in prime position is the 12th century church of Saint-Romain. I always wonder if they thought that they were nearer to God because it was at the top of the hill!


DSCN7320I love the local white charentaise stone. No matter how old, it always look fresh and clean, and even of a dull day, it seems to glow.


DSCN7319Dominating the main square is a truly magnificent 17th century market hall. I was taken aback at the size of it, and I had to marvel at the incredible oak beams that criss-crossed the roof. This was built to last! Throughout the centuries, this was, and still is, the hub of the village, with a weekly market and everyone catching up for a drink and a gossip.



DSCN7321As you can see, it wasn’t market day, but it was the perfect place to sit and have lunch.

DSCN7310I always think that there is something rather French about houses with blue shutters and the bedding airing out of the windows. Thankfully no rain expected this day!

A Bientot!


About Al in France

Dreams do come true and I am now retired and living with Maggie, my chocolate labrador, in France in the Deux-Sevres. I love travel and photography and hope to combine both interests here to make a record for myself, and somewhere where I hope you will get to enjoy a part of my life in this region, in France and further afield when I get the opportunity. Please feel free to follow and comment. A Bientot!
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